We want you

The curators of the Virginia Packet Network want folks to use the system. Many may be put off by the jargon and lingo used in the highly abbreviated world of AX.25 node commands. We will collect bits of useful information under this “Help” column to make things a bit easier for new operators.

Connecting to the system

Successfully navigating a packet system’s nooks and crannies is easier with a high level view of the interconnections such as this figure.

2016-12-20 data flow block diagram
2016-12-20 data flow block diagram

Note: Only the 2m port at 145.030 MHz is functional during our prototype phase.

Our system does not use aliases (the -1, -2, -10 callsign suffixes) on most of the ports so getting access to a service application like CHAT or BBS is a two step process. One starts by connecting to a W4VPN node/switch by typing the following in the command mode prompt of your TNC…

c w4vpn

Your TNC should cause your transceiver to transmit. If a VAPN system can hear your transmission and sees the connect attempt it will respond with its own transmission. The TNCs at each end communicate with each other until both enter the “connect” mode. From here on anything you type in your terminal is relayed to the VAPN system much like how you telnet or shell to another system on the Internet, but much slower.

Once in “connect” mode you can type help or access the applications by typing “chat” or “bbs” and use the following help pages to guide you along.

  1. Chat Commands
  2. BBS Commands
  3. BBS Message Type and Status